The federal transition to cloud computing is an overlooked source of savings as the government battles over trillions of dollars in spending reductions, the leader of a Senate oversight subcommittee said this week.
A visibly weary Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., was addressing a conference Wednesday on the future of government cloud computing and the consolidation of federal data centers amid tense negotiations over raising the limit on federal borrowing.
Carper, who is chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, listed cost savings from cloud computing as one of several initiatives that could save the government hundreds of billions of dollars annually but that had gotten lost in the acrimonious standoff over whether the deficit should be trimmed by cutting programs alone or by a combination of program cutting and revenue hikes.
He also cited efforts to cut Medicare overpayments and to dispose of unnecessary federal property in that list.
“There are four ways to reduce deficits or balance budgets,” Carper said. “The first of those is to cut spending; that works. The second is to raise revenues; that works. The third is to grow the hell out of the economy; that works.”
The last piece is the piece we don’t often pay a lot of attention to,” he continued. “My bumper sticker here is better results for less money. We need to look into every nook and cranny of the federal government and find better results for less money . . . One of the great ways you can provide better service for less money is to do IT well and to do it smart.”
Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has estimated the government can save about $5 billion annually by moving about one-fourth of its $80 billion annual IT portfolio into public, private or hybrid computer clouds.